Report: Pakistan Hospitals Near Collapse Under Strain of COVID-19 

The New York Times is reporting that Pakistan’s health care system is near collapse under the stress of the coronavirus pandemic.  The U.S. newspaper says hospitals have been stretched to their capacity and some “have simply closed their doors, putting up signs saying they are full. The New York Times reports frontline medical personnel are “falling ill at alarming rates” and are also being physically assaulted by “desperate and angry families,” upset by the news of the death of their loved ones or upset that they may not be able to get their loved ones’ bodies immediately. Officials in Pakistan have estimated nationwide confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections could reach up to 1.2 million by the end of July, urging the nation to strictly comply with safety guidelines to help reverse the rising trajectory of new cases.   FILE – Health workers wearing protective gear move a body of a man who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), outside an isolation ward at the Ayub Teaching Hospital in Abbottabad, Pakistan, April 16, 2020.The national tally of infections has surpassed 140,000, with about 2,700 deaths, since late February when the coronavirus pandemic reached the South Asian nation of 220 million people.  
  
COVID-19 infections have particularly soared since last month when Prime Minister Imran Khan eased restrictions on commercial and public activities to help restore livelihood means for millions of poverty-stricken families.  Fern Robinson and Ayaz Gul contributed to this report.

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